Business & Professional Women's Foundation  

gail laughlin
Gail Laughlin

The War Department in 1917 during World War I saw the need to coordinate the power of women and found that the only group that was not formally organized was business and professional women.  A War Work Council was formed to further the efforts of women during wartime which resulted in the founding of Business & Professional Women's Foundation, in 1919 in St. Louis, MO.  Business & Professional Women's Foundation is a multi-generational, nonpartisan and nonsectarian membership organization.  Established as the first organization to focus on issues of workingwomen, Business & Professional Women's Foundation is historically a leader in grassroots activism, policy influence and advocacy for millions of workingwomen.  It strives to achieve equity for all women in the workplace through advocacy, education and information.

The first President of Business & Professional Women's Foundation was Gail Laughlin (right), a lawyer from California and the first Executive Secretary was Lena Madesin Phillips, a lawyer from Kentucky/New York. 






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